Monique Cote, '12

Barre, Vermont

BS, Actuarial Sciences

Why I Chose Math:
Monique enjoys working with numbers because they are “concrete.” She likes thinking analytically, applying what she has learned to novel situations, and figuring out complex problems. “The ability to think that way can be applied in a lot of situations,” she says. Monique is a Peer Learning Assistant (PLA) for differential equations and calculus.

Originally from Barre, Vermont, Monique knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue math. “I’ve always liked math, and been good at it,” she says. In high school, Monique spoke about her options with her guidance counselor, who suggested actuarial math.

Project experience:
One of Monique’s favorite projects was in her survival models class. Monique’s team analyzed 430,000 rows of data to obtain a model that would compute an average time of death for a sample population. After their first attempt failed, they broke the equation down into smaller parts and successfully obtained a model. “Using the math to price the policies and using models to help other people figure things out was something we would really be doing,” she says.

Work experience:
At her summer 2011 internship, Monique worked at Sun Life Financial in Boston, MA. Her office was in the Central Actuarial department. She organized files to facilitate a change of servers and ran checks to ensure that Sun Life Financial follows the guidelines set forth by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Other activities:
Monique is part of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity, and has served as the organization’s recruitment chair, secretary, and most recently, president. She is a sister of Alpha Phi, president of the German club, and took tap dancing lessons for fifteen years.

Future plans:
After graduation, Monique hopes to receive a job offer in the life insurance industry, as she has had experience with that line of work. She has passed the first two preliminary exams taken by aspiring actuaries, Exam P (Probability) and Exam FM (Financial Mathematics).

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